From Walk-On To WR1: Devaughn Vele Ready To Shine For Utah

Apr 21, 2022, 2:02 PM | Updated: 2:11 pm
Cam Rising - Utah Utes - Arizona Wildcats...
Quarterback Cameron Rising #7 of the Utah Utes celebrates with Devaughn Vele #17 after scoring on a 11-yard rushing touchdown against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half of the NCAAF game at Arizona Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY- Utah’s Devaughn Vele was not highly sought after as a freshmen. In fact, his journey with the Utes started as a walk-on in 2019 where he quickly turned heads. However, despite the continual buzz around his abilities, Vele has spent a good chunk of his career banged up and a bit of a mystery. Fans got a glimpse of Vele’s abilities in 2021, but like any good competitor he is ready to kick it up a notch.

Humble And Ready To Rumble

Part of Vele’s rise has come from the fact he was never handed anything. Out of high school he was overlooked which is how Utah ended up with their secret gem. Now on scholarship, Vele doesn’t take his former walk-on status for granted and is hopes it shows on the field in 2022.

“There are a lot of things I could keep working on,” Vele said. “Things I can do to contribute to the team to be a better teammate, a better blocker and better receiver all together. As much as I love it- it’s really cool, but I don’t want to let it get to my head where I’m too comfortable and not working as hard as when I first walked on. I want to have the same mentality I had when I first walked on that I’m the underdog. If I keep that same mentality I know I can make the big strides I need to make for this fall season.”

The Rising To Vele Connection

One of the most positive observations to come out of spring is how well starting quarterback Cam Rising has been connecting with the 6’5″ Vele in practice. It’s been years since the Utes had a true go-to receiver and based off of spring ball it looks like they may finally have another one in 2022.

“I feel like we are in a good spot,” Vele said. “We still have a lot of room to improve, but I definitely feel like we are making the strides that we do need to make in order to be ready for the fall season.”

Not only has Vele been connecting well with Rising, but several other receivers as well. Vele noted the musings of whether or not the receivers could be a productive unit for the team or not really lit a fire under them as a group. This is great news considering offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig mentioned earlier in spring that they Utes really want to start targeting the perimeter of the field more in 2022.

“Confidence is a big factor,” Vele said. “I know there were little rumors here and there talking about the receiver group. There’s been some question whether we’ll be a productive group on the team. I feel like that definitely fired us up to make the big plays. We are the playmakers on the team. We are ‘Bomb Squad’ so we should be living up to that standard.”

Leaders Of The Pack

Along with Vele, fellow receiver Solomon Enis has been instrumental in rallying the receiver group and setting some expectations. Vele says they’ve seen the results in practice, but eventually it needs to start showing itself on game day.

“Me and Solo have tried rounding up the guys to understand that we should take that to fuel us,” Vele said. “Every time we come out here we have a chip on our shoulder knowing there are people doubting us, but we know what we are capable of doing. We’ve seen it on the field and we can prove it. These past couple of weeks we’ve been making those strides necessary to prove to everybody. As much as we’ve been doing very well, we’ve got more to prove. It’s one thing to do it on the practice field, it’s another to do it on game day when the lights are bright.”


  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Star Alissa Pili Named WBCA All-American

Utah's Alissa Pili has been named an outright WBCA All-American after an outstanding junior season with the Utes.
22 hours ago
Michelle Bodkin

A Pair Of Utes Score Perfect 10s As Red Rocks Cruise To Day Two Of L.A. Regionals

For the second time this season Maile O'Keefe and Jaedyn Rucker scored perfect 10s in the same meet as the Red Rocks cruised to a day two invite of the L.A. Regional.
22 hours ago
Michelle Bodkin

Issy Palmer Represents Utes On Kelly Clarkson Show

Utah women's basketball is having a moment as Issy Palmer represented the Utes on the Kelly Clarkson Show.
22 hours ago
Kyle Ireland

Broncos WR Tim Patrick Discusses NFL Career On Former Ute’s Podcast

Former Utah and current Broncos WR Tim Patrick joined Ute great Steve Smith's podcast "Cut To It" to discuss his career path to the NFL.
22 hours ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah’s Backup Quarterback Battle Full Of Intrigue

Everyone knows who Utah's QB1 is, but there is a lot of intrigue about who could be QB2 and what that might mean for the Utes' future in 2024.
22 hours ago
Kyle Whittingham Pac-12 Championship...
Michelle Bodkin

Kyle Whittingham’s Thoughts On Utah’s Spring Ball 3/28/23

Utah football is in spring ball mode and head coach Kyle Whittingham had some thoughts to give the media about week two of spring ball.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
From Walk-On To WR1: Devaughn Vele Ready To Shine For Utah